A historic, performance-filled event is scheduled for Sunday, Nov. 4, at the University of Oklahoma in honor of Holmberg Hall’s centennial. The commemorative performance is set for 3 p.m. in the historic hall, 550 Parrington Oval, on the OU campus in Norman.
Entertainment will be presented by Weitzenhoffer Family College of Fine Arts students representing the schools of music, drama, danceand musical theatre. Enjoy music by the OU Symphony Orchestra and Men’s Glee Club; dance performances by Oklahoma Festival Ballet and Contemporary Dance Oklahoma; and a medley of songs representing a variety of periods and styles by students in the Weitzenhoffer School of Musical Theatre. Providing lively banter, historic notes and introductions are host emcees from the Helmerich School of Drama.
Holmberg Hall has presented some of the state’s most memorable events and well-known visitors, including legendary mezzo-soprano Marilyn Horne, jazz legend Louis “Satchmo” Armstrong, award-winning Chickasaw interpretive storyteller Te Ata Fisher, modern dancer Martha Graham, American violinist Isaac Stern, piano virtuoso Van Cliburn, and U.S. President William Howard Taft.
Illustrious OU College of Fine Arts faculty members and students who performed in Holmberg Hall include baritone Tom Carey, contralto Carol Brice and Tenor Joseph Benton; OU professor of organ Mildred Andrews Boggess; Yvonne Chouteau and Miguel Terekhov, principal dancers with the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo and co-founders of the OU School of Dance; and actor Van Heflin.
Built in 1918 and first named The Auditorium, it was renamed Holmberg Hall in 1938 in honor of Fredrik Holmberg (1872-1936), distinguished professor of music, student orchestra director and first dean of the College of Fine Arts. Holmberg was a steadfast advocate for fine arts education at OU and throughout the state.
Oklahoma’s only European-style performance hall is the building’s showpiece. The venue was restored to its original splendor in 2005, including the domed ceiling. Modern acoustical features were added in addition to a new stage tower, orchestra pit and renovated stage areas. The multimillion-dollar renovation was funded principally by the Donald W. Reynolds Foundation. The original building, with the addition of a new dance wing, renovated practice rooms and restoration of the performance hall, was then renamed the Donald W. Reynolds Performing Arts Center.
Tickets are $40 general admission with limited seating. Call (405) 325-4101 or visit the OU Fine Arts Box Office in the Catlett Music Center, 500 W. Boyd St., Norman.